Trader Joe's Shoppers Are Psyched For Its New Spicy Vegan Porkless Rinds

If you've ever had a friend go on the keto diet, you're probably familiar with the sound (and smell) of a just-opened bag of pork rinds or chicharrones. The snack — made by boiling pork skin, separating it from the fat, drying it, and finally deep-frying it in bite-size pieces until puffed and crispy — has long been a delicacy in the southern United States and many parts of Latin America, according to All Recipes. It experienced a renaissance during the height of the keto diet for its low-carb, high-fat nutrition profile.

Thanks to Trader Joe's, pork rinds (or pork-less rinds) can now be enjoyed by vegans, too. "New vegan Spicy Porkless Plant-Based Snack Rinds are here. My friend @simonaa_isabellaa from NJ spotted these and says they are so good," reports @traderjoesobsessed on Instagram, adding that the snacks have an eight-out-of-10 spice level and are similar to the Trader Joe's Spicy Mochi Crackers. The gluten-free snacks are made with rice meal and pea protein instead of pork skin, then fried in sunflower oil for a crispy starter with 7 grams of protein per serving, the packaging reads.

Trader Joe's isn't the first brand to make vegan pork rinds

Trader Joes' pork-less rinds appear to be so new that most customers haven't seen them in stores yet, according to comments on @traderjoesobsessed's post. Several users tagged their formerly pork-loving, newly vegetarian friends, wondering if the vegan snack could compare to real chicharrones. "They're super yummy! Got a nice heat and super crunchy," commented @veggie_at_traderjoes.

Others noticed the pork-less rinds' similarity to other plant-based pork rinds on the market. "Hmm these are just like Outstanding Foods Pig Out Hella Hot. Same ingredients," said @vanannvanhorn. Outstanding Foods' Pigless Pork Rinds are also made with seasoned rice and pea protein, while Beanfields Vegan Cracklins contain chickpeas and navy beans, and Snacklins use yuca and mushrooms. Other versions of vegan pork rinds are popping up in health-food stores and standard supermarkets alike, and the future of the snack looks so promising that Snoop Dogg invested in Outstanding Foods' version, LiveKindly reports. Now, Trader Joe's is just getting in on the pig-out.